Royals

Duchess Meghan ‘never thought’ being a royal would be easy, but says she thought it would at least be fair

Meghan adds she “very naively” didn’t understand how harsh the British tabloids could be, despite being warned by her friends that the tabloids would destroy her life.

Airing in the UK on Sunday evening, ITV's Harry & Meghan: An African Journey, has given the public a rare and very real look into the lives and minds of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, with the couple being remarkably raw and honest about how the months and months of intrusion, scrutiny and criticism at the hands of the tabloid press have affected them.
In an interview with ITV News presenter Tom Bradby during the Sussexes' southern Africa tour, Duchess Meghan admits she had been naively unaware of how brutal and relentless the British tabloids could be, confessing that even though she had been warned by some of her British friends, she just "didn't get it," at the time.
Meghan has opened up in a remarkably honest and raw interview with ITV's Tom Bradby for the new documentary Harry & Meghan: An African Journey. (Image: ITV News)
When Tom asks Meghan how the last year has been for her, she takes a deep breath and then says simply, "It's hard," before elaborating: "I don't think anybody can understand that but in all fairness, I had no idea," she confesses.
"Which probably sounds difficult to understand [in the UK], but when I first met my now-husband my friends were so happy because I was so happy, but my British friends said to me, 'I'm sure he's great but you shouldn't do it, because the British tabloids will destroy your life.'
"And I very naively – I'm American, we don't have that there - 'What are you talking about? That doesn't make any sense, I'm not in tabloids.'
"I didn't get it," Meghan says.
"So uhm yeah, it's been complicated."
Meghan admits that she has been naive before becoming a member of the royal family saying she "didn't get" how intrusive the British tabloids could be. (Image: ITV News)
While many critics have tried to justify the hateful press Meghan has received, saying she should have expected this when marrying into The Firm, Meghan tells Bradby that she never thought it would be easy, but she thought it would at least be fair.
"I've said for a long time to H – that's what I call him," Meghan reveals, "it's not enough to just survive something, right? Like that's not the point of life.
"You've got to thrive, you've got to feel happy, and I think I really tried to adopt this British sensibility of a stiff upper lip," she admits.
"I tried, I really tried," she says, but reflects that internally, mentally, bottling it all up would undoubtedly be doing lots of damage.
"The biggest thing that I know is that I never thought that this would be easy, but I thought it would be fair. And that's the part that's really hard to reconcile.
"But I don't know, just take each day as it comes."
WATCH: Duchess Meghan says she never thought becoming a royal would be easy. Story continues below...
The full interview comes just days after ITV began releasing snippets of the documentary, which included a clip in which Meghan revealed she "wasn't doing okay", sparking a viral hashtag #WeLoveYouMeghan to trend on Twitter.
As well as Harry admission that the constant presence of the media in his life is a continuous reminder of one of the hardest times of his life – the death of his mother Princess Diana, Harry also addresses the rumours of a rift between him and his older brother Prince William, as well as whether he and Meghan would be moving to Africa in the near future.
The new documentary follows Harry and Meghan's recent southern Africa tour, documenting both the happier times, and the more difficult times, behind-the-scenes. (Image: Getty)
Along with addressing the more difficult conversations, the documentary also documents the couple's passion and drive for shedding light on the causes that they hold close to their heart including gender equality and the end of gender-based violence, conservation, education and raising mental health awareness.
It also went behind-the-scenes of heartwarming moments including a sweet moment shared by Harry, Meghan and five-month-old Archie, before Archie's royal tour debut during a morning tea with Archbishop Desmond Tutu and his daughter in Cape Town.
Following the release of the documentary it has been reported the couple will take an extended break from mid-November, with the couple and Archie travelling to the US to spend time with Meghan's mother Doria Ragland for Thanksgiving, before returning to the UK to spend Christmas at Sandringham with the royal family.
Harry and Megan: An African Journey airs Monday 28 October, 7pm on TVNZ 1.